CRUCIAN CARP are a very popular spring and summer species, and give great sport on light gear. Learn lots here about how to catch them, with Bill Rushmer...

A member of the cyprinidae family, crucian carp are notorious for their shy bites, often hardly moving the float after picking up a hook bait.

Crucian carp can give hardly any indication that they have taken the bait, so if you think you’ve had a bite, strike.

I once watched some crucians feeding on small pieces of paste. Roach, tench and bream would pick it up and move off, but crucians took it without moving at all.

On many of the waters I have fished for crucians, I have caught them very close to the bank – in fact on some days a matter of inches from the bank.

Tackle-wise, I love using a centrepin reel in close as it gives so much better control than any other reel due to the fact you use your fingers as a clutch, rather than relying on something mechanical.

Ideally I like to use a sensitive pole float, but if wind affects the rig I switch to crowquill stem insert peacock wagglers.

Light traces and medium wire hooks such as Kamasan B911s are popular when using paste.I often find fairly big dollops of soft paste attract crucian carp.

Do remember, there are a lot of waters holding so-called ‘crucian carp’ that are hybrids or brown goldfish.

It is difficult to distinguish them, so being the first angling journalist to catch them at Marsh Farm, I decided to photograph clear images of them and take them to fishery officers at the Environment Agency, who confirmed them as true crucians.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email photos and details exclusively to: – you could star in the magazine.